15 December 2019 | gridoon2021
Ambitious disaster / sci-fi epic
Billed onscreen as "the first major spectacle of French speaking cinema", "La Fin Du Monde" is hard to judge in its present form (I saw the 90-minute version); edited down by the prducers (with a hatchet, it seems like sometimes) from its original 3-hours-plus length, it is often incoherent. For much of its (new) running length, it is also static, talky and melodramatic. But after the comet is finally seen, in the last 20 minutes or so, there are some spectacular sequences and effects, the orgiastic celebrations of life are strangely moving, and Abel Gance's pacifist and humanist message comes across; while his prophecy of a "Universal Republic" seems more utopic now than ever, the one about the "Federal States of Europe" is not far removed from the initial ideals behind the formation of the European Union, a process that didn't begin until two decades (and one more World War) after this film was made. *** out of 4.